Fighting the Flu: Advice on How to Protect Yourself - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fighting the Flu: Advice on How to Protect Yourself

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It's hard to believe we are approaching that time of year again, but flu season is right around the corner.  Tuesday, medical experts are reminding us of some basic habits that could keep us safe and healthy year-round.

A lot of the advice to protect yourself from the flu is really common sense, but for whatever reason many of us don't follow those basic practices.  Good habits could save you a trip to the doctor.      

"All you hear about or read about is keys, door handles, money, anything you touch has germs, so you don't know how you're going to protect yourself really," said Joan Miller, who is planning to get a flu shot soon. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although the peak flu season is January and February, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and extend until as late as May.

Martha Jefferson Hospital nurse Susan Barnard said, "You know certainly very crowded spaces are going to be more prone, shopping at the mall or whatever if you're in a congested area."

Barnard says some good practices are to avoid coughing in someone else's direction and throwing away used tissues.  But it's the everyday things you do, or should be doing, that could be the best protection.

"Imagine that there could be germs on any surface you're touching, so washing your hands before you eat, after you eat, after you put your hands to mouth or sneeze or cough or anything like that, it's a good practice," Barnard said.

Barnard says hand sanitizer is also effective when it is used on hands that aren't visibly dirty, along with getting flu shots.

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